I can't place my finger on it, but something about this whole scene is just full of effortless elegance. Thoughts? Or do folks disagree in the first place?
What is it about this pic that makes it so full of win?
This is going to sound unintentionally cryptic, but... it's the fact that it's a photo.
What I mean is that it's a very nice pose (the right balance of tension & relaxation), body angle, lighting & general setting, which work to enhance rather detract from the undoubted good fit & general coordination of the clothes. You can see this effect play out in a less dramatic way in all the member photos posted here (and in fact, that's maomao in the pic). Lighting, pose, setting and comfort in front of the camera make massive differences to the impact an outfit has. Now, you can still usually tell which outfits would still be to your preferred taste IRL or not, but you do have to take the photography into heavy account too.
Indeed - here is a link to where the photo first appeared: http://beijing1980.tumblr.com/post/26974080950
The key to the double pleats is that the pants must sit at exactly the right point on the waist; the braces help him nail it, I think.
Holdfast hit the nail on the head. The clothes are undoubtedly well crafted, nice materials, excellent fit, etc... but it's also a really good photo in regards to lighting, pose, and composition, leading lines, reflections, effective use of DOF, and contrast between subject and backdrop to pull focus. The only thing I'm not a huge fan of is the second undone button, although it's hard to argue that when the subject has the confidence of a Boss.
That is what it looks like when you actually live in your clothes and enjoy them, as opposed to worshiping or obsessing over them to an unhealthy degree.
Living in your clothes is the ultimate express of sprezzatura.
The picture creates the idea of a being caught by a confidant with camera in moment of repose between having partied all night in Lan Kwai Fong and later Wan Chai, and a brisk shower and an excellent shave that will proceed the beginging of another successful negotiation and agreement that will begin over a huge breakfast of dim sum and Tieguanyin tea.